Written by Alan Platt
On Monday 13 March, MPs voted to refuse to unilaterally protect the rights of EU nationals living in the United Kingdom.
The impending activation of Article 50 will formally advise the European Union that the UK wishes to leave the EU. The position of European Union nationals both currently living in the UK and also those wishing to come to this country in the near future, is unclear and seemingly open to debate. Yet these EU Nationals provide vital skills and services throughout all sectors of UK business and industry, so the current situation is understandably causing considerable concern and unease for them, their family members and their employers.
The UK Government has provided ‘veiled’ assurances to those EU nationals presently living in this country, indicating that providing they are properly exercising an EU Treaty Right (working, self-employed, studying, self-sufficient or job seeking), they will be allowed to remain in the United Kingdom once the Brexit negotiations commence, and their position will be clarified. Despite these assurances it is a very uncertain period for EU nationals, particularly because many have been exercising a legitimate EU Treaty right in this country for many years, but have never made application to the Home Office to register this fact.
We are presently advising our EU national clients and their family members to apply for Residence Documentation, or if they meet the five year residency period, for Permanent Residency to ensure they are on the Home Office ‘radar’. Whilst the Home Office will very likely provide the opportunity for EU nationals to register during a defined period after their position is made clearer, it makes sense to apply ahead of the final decision. This will avoid the anticipated rush and ensure when travelling that UK Border Force Officers at UK air and sea ports are easily able to establish those EU nationals recognised by the Home Office as exercising an EU Treaty right in the UK, via a Residence Document or Permanent Residency.
Our highly regarded immigration team is increasingly being called upon to help with Residency applications, both by individuals and their employers. We offer every level of support and assistance.
For an initial overview of your situation, please contact Alan Platt.
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I began working for the Home Office UK Border Force as an Immigration Officer in 1983 and after spending four years based at Heathrow Airport I was seconded to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and posted to Nigeria for five years to work in the British High Commission in Lagos as a Consular & Visa Officer, dealing with a full range of UK visa applications, British Citizenship and consular matters. Upon my return to the UK I worked at Stansted Airport and then in the UK Border Force Headquarters in Croydon, training air and sea carriers operating to the United Kingdom on the detection of passengers travelling with forged and counterfeit documentation and developed and implemented legislation known as The Carriers Liability Act. In 2002 I formed and managed Platt & Associates, a United Kingdom immigration, nationality and work permit law consultancy, advising clients in the corporate and private sectors in these areas. In 2016 we merged with Gordon Dadds LLP and from this new platform continue to provide clients with clear and well founded advice on business, family and work permit options within the United Kingdom Immigration Rules and the EEA Regulations. Outside of work my interests are classic cars and I am an active member of the MG Car Club. I also enjoy travelling and spending time with my family.